With the recently approved “Hydrogen Master Plan”, ds Land Südtirol wants to make the domestic energy industry and mobility sustainable and strengthen regional added value.
In order to demonstrate South Tyrol’s opportunities and potential in hydrogen technology and to draw up an implementation plan, the H2 team has worked with the mobility department, environmental department, the IIT hydrogen center, the A22 burner motorway company, the Alperia energy company and the European Academy Eurac over the past six months.
The “hydrogen master plan” is now available. It should not only help to achieve the climate targets, but also to make South Tyrol’s energy industry and mobility sustainable and strengthen regional added value by investing in innovation. The state government approved the hydrogen mission last Tuesday (May 12). Governor Arno Kompscher, Mobility State Councilor Daniel Alfreider, Environment State Councilor Giuliano Vettorato and the head of the H2 team Peter Mölgg presented the cross-departmental plan today (May 14) via video press conference.
Combine mobility, energy and innovation
“The challenges surrounding the corona virus have shown just how important health and strong regional economic cycles are. That is why we are relying on innovation, sustainability and the wise use of local resources when restarting, ”emphasized Governor Kompscher. Thanks to innovation and implementation of specific projects, such as the use of hydrogen buses, the Bozen hydrogen center in South Tyrol has made IIT a pioneer in hydrogen technology.
“We are now about to take the next big step: hydrogen will be able to combine mobility, energy and innovation in a sensible way and thus become less dependent on fossil fuels. At the same time, funds that would otherwise flow to oil-exporting countries can remain in the local economic cycle, ”emphasizes Kompscher.
Support emission-free electromobility with hydrogen
Mobility State Councilor Alfreider pointed out that in South Tyrol more than 40 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions come from road traffic. “We have to avoid fossil fuel traffic, relocate freight traffic to the Brenner Base Tunnel on the Brenner axis, and promote the use of public transport and bicycles. But we also have to create a versatile infrastructure so that we can fully utilize the potential of emission-free electromobility. And we also need hydrogen as an energy source to support sustainable mobility, ”emphasized Alfreider. Another priority was Alfreider’s conversion of the burner corridor into a “green corridor”, an environmentally friendly traffic route with hydrogen filling stations along the entire route.
“We also want to gradually convert buses in local passenger transport to environmentally friendly drives, with hydrogen being ideal if it is generated from sustainably generated electricity,” said Alfreider. South Tyrol is also making a decisive contribution to the implementation of the EU’s Clean Vehicle Directive, which provides minimum standards for the public procurement of environmentally friendly and energy-efficient road vehicles.
Reduce CO2 emissions by around 45 percent
According to the State Councilor for the Environment Vettorato, the hydrogen master plan significantly improves the CO2 footprint in South Tyrol. “By 2030, we can reduce imports of fossil fuels worth around 550 million euros per year, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by around 45 percent,” Vettorato calculated. Overall, the plan makes a significant contribution to achieving the climate goals. “The implementation of the hydrogen master plan for South Tyrol is a significant contribution to protecting our climate, people and nature in South Tyrol,” emphasized Vettorato.
Use synergies and involve many partners
H2 representative Mölgg sees the opportunity for South Tyrol to determine the energy industry and mobility on a larger scale, since the energy that is consumed in the country would also be produced by South Tyrol itself. “We have to find a way to do this economically and sustainably,” demands Mölgg. According to Mölgg, the H2 team clearly identified synergies between the energy industry and mobility and the improved added value in this context. “In the H2 team, we calculated these synergies and the resulting economic benefits on an interdisciplinary basis,” reports the team leader. According to Mölgg, the master plan represents what is realistically feasible. “The implementation requires the involvement of numerous partners from the private sector,” Mölgg emphasized.
Common Euregio hydrogen strategy
Both Compatibility and Alfreider underlined that South Tyrol must position itself well for participation in the EU funding programs for alternative drives, which are due to start in 2020.
At the calls, the European region would position itself jointly and submit coordinated projects, compatibil announced. “All three member countries want to implement a common hydrogen strategy and cross-border projects are given preferential treatment by the EU, which is why there is a good chance that they will receive support,” said Kompscher.
Financial volume 2 billion euros
The hydrogen master plan is now to be implemented gradually over the next ten to 15 years. The financial volume was estimated at around two billion euros. However, the money does not come exclusively from the state budget as additional funds, but is supplemented by savings in the purchase of fossil fuel, EU co-financing and investments by partner organizations.